Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Madeline Costume

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine.
The smallest one was Madeline.

(-from Madeline's Rescue by Ludwig Bemelmans)

I just can't get over my cute little Madeline!

I've said before that I'm kind of a Halloween Grinch.  My sweet little one year old almost didn't get a costume for Halloween this year since I figure if she's young enough to not care then I don't care to take the time to make a costume.  I know.  I'm no fun.  Super Grinchy.

I decided to browse Pinterest for costume ideas anyway--just for fun--to see what was out there because I was drawing a blank.  I had ZERO ideas.  As I scrolled through Pinterest the costume that stood out to me the most was Madeline.  We have loved the books at our house and I thought a little Madeline would be so sweet.  After all, my spunky little one year old is the smallest one in our family--like it says in the book.  It all just seemed to fit.

My little Madeline just loves her costume and she thinks wearing her sweet little hat is too much fun.

Here's a view of the back.

I tried to talk myself out of the costume but I just couldn't.  It all came together so flawlessly.  I already had the blue fabric to make the dress so I had no excuse.  I used a nightgown pattern from my stash that had raglan sleeves making it super simple to put together.  I got out of having to sew a collar for the dress by using a collared shirt I already had.  Last I added a ribbon around the neck.

Here it is all put together.

The hat I found at Target on clearance for a few dollars.  This was the only purchase I made for the costume.  Everything else I already owned--which is how I like to do Halloween costumes.  I added a black ribbon and it was all ready for Miss Madeline to wear.

I'm so glad I got over my ginchy-ness because I had so much fun putting this consume together.  I really don't remember the last time I was this excited about a project.  I even wrote a little poem about my own "smallest one" to go along with it--but I'm not really much of a poet so I'll save that one for the family blog.

So, what are your kids being for Halloween this year?  Do you make or buy your costumes or do a little of both?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Women in the Bible - Quiet Book

So . . . I was cleaning out some drawers not to long ago and I came across this little gem.

It's the very first quiet book I ever made.  I can't believe I had completely forgotten about it!  When I was in college I took a course from Camille Fronk Olsen called Women in Scripture (I know, I know--if you know Camille then you're pretty jealous of me :)  She is an amazing teacher and it was an amazing class.  I learned so much.  A large portion of our grade in the class was determined by a big semester project of our choosing having to do with women in scripture.  I chose to make a quiet book for children teaching about these amazing women.  Looking back I find my choice funny.  I must really have some sort of crazy love for quiet books.

The book includes verses directly from the scriptures along with a picture/activity page.  Having studied child development I tried to include all that fun sensory stuff for kids.  I also did a lot of research into the verses I included in the book and made a guide for parents so they could help their children better understand some of the unfamiliar parts of the scripture.  For example on the page about Miriam it says in Exodus 2:3, "And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with a pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the rivers brink."

My parents guide explains: The precise form of this little "ark" is unknown. It may have been a basket, a boat, or a box.  It was made of leaf of the papyrus, a reedy plant which grew plentifully on the banks of the Nile, and which was used by the Egyptians for cordage, baskets, boats, sails, writing material, and a variety of other purposes; even sometimes food.  The "slime" . . . though melting easily and running freely, when cold it is very brittle; but if mixes with tar it becomes tenacious when set, and makes firm cement.  In preparing the little vessel for the reception of the infant Moses, it is probable that the papyrus leaves were first plaited together, and then coated with a mixture of hot bitumen and tar, which when cold became firm and water-proof. 

Interesting, huh?  Yeah, this little guide is full of interesting facts and tid-bits.  It's such a little treasure to go along with my quiet book.  

Moving on . . .

So to be honest I'm kind of embarrassed of this book.  The idea and the research I put into it are fabulous--but the art and construction of it . . . it's not  . . . perfect.  I was a poor college student and had super limited supplies (and time).  It really was quite painful to my budget to have to go out and buy all those brushes and different colors of paint.  I still have to remind myself that no little kid is really going to care.  My kids love this book and have so much fun learning the scripture stories as they play with the pages.  In fact this post has taken me forever to write up because each time they see me working on it they are reminded of this little quiet book and they want me to read it with them.

Regardless of what a little child might think though I'm still hesitant to share it here . . . but I'm going to anyway.  I hope it will inspire someone to make something 10 times better than mine, and more importantly help their children develop a love for the scriptures and the lessons that we can learn there . . . and fortunately these small picture hide so many of my many flaws.

So . . . here goes nothing.  Don't laugh.  OK?  :)

First off is my little cover page.  All the text in my book was done by typing it up on the computer and then printing it out onto Pellon Peltex sheets through my printer.  Printing onto the Pellon mutes the text quite a bit.  I used black ink but you can see it comes out looking more gray.

The apples are felt and removable with velcro.  There is also velcro in Adam and Eve's hands so they can hold the apple.

On this page the fuzzy sheep can be moved around to different velcro spots on the page.

Here's Moses floating in his reed basket on the "ric-rac" water.  The basket opens and Moses is removable.  I just have to say pellon is really a pain to paint--especially with cheap brushes. I tried to take a short cut and used a permanent marker to do some of the coloring.  You can see on the opposite page that over time some of the green marker has bled over.  I'm a little sad about that . . . but what are ya gonna do?

Here is the page with the basket closed.

On this page Ruth's arm is movable with a brad.  Her hand is holding a string that the stalks of wheat can be strung onto.  The stalks of wheat are held a in pocket that looks like a bundle of wheat.

The Widow of Zarephath
On this page the barrel can be seen with a small amount of meal on the bottom.  Then as you tell the story the child can unbutton the barrel and turn it over . . .

to show the jar full.

Esters hair can be braided and tied with the ribbons.

Baby Jesus and the little land can be removed and placed on the page with velcro.

The Woman with the Alabaster Box
On this page the woman's hair is made of string that can be used to clean/wipe the Savior's feet.

So as you can see this book is a great teaching tool and has become a real treasure.  I hope it inspires you to create a fun teaching tool for your children.

Looking for more quiet book ideas?  Check out my other quiet book patterns below.

My Original Quiet Book 

Quiet Book Game Series

and my book

Quiet Book Patterns

Thursday, September 3, 2015

How to Make Giant Bubbles + World's Best Bubble Recipe

Its seems the rest of the country has started back to school but my kids don't start until next week.  We've had such a fun summer together so I'm a little sad to have them starting school again (okay, lets be honest, super sad).  My kids are at an age where they play so nicely together for hours on end.  It's so fun to see them be such good friends.  I had a whole list of boredom busters to keep them busy this summer but with my kids entertaining each other we hardly touched the list.  But that's the way it should be, isn't it?  Good old fashioned imaginative play, outdoors, and fresh air.

A favorite activity that we did enjoy several times though was making giant bubbles.  After a disappointing morning of swimming lessons being canceled last minute we headed over to the library and were fortunate to catch a show from The Bubble Man.  It's amazing the things you can do with some soapy solution and air.  My kids loved it!  The Bubble Man was nice enough to share his bubble recipe and my kids were anxious to try it.  We created all kinds of bubble wands to try out in our solution but the giant bubbles were definitely a favorite.

Just a couple of dowels, some thin rope, and a washer and we were ready to go.





To make the bubble wands I picked up a bag of dowels at the craft store and screwed an eyelet into the top of each one.

I then tied about an 18 inch piece across the top and then a second longer piece (about 3 feet) as well.  There's also a washer strung through the second piece to weigh it down a bit.  Can you see it at the bottom of the rope hiding in the grass?   The first time I made the bubble wands I used yarn, which worked great . . . until it turned into a big tangled mess.  I decided to invest in some thin rope which worked so much better for avoiding tangles.  Don't worry that much about the length of the rope.  It doesn't matter too much.  Just make sure there's a shorter piece at the top and a longer one underneath.

Here's a few more big ones!

So much fun!

And here's the famous bubble recipe.  Simply mix the three ingredients together and you're ready for some serious bubble fun!  (Glycerin can be found at any pharmacy.  I got ours in the pharmacy section of our local grocery store.)

Have fun!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Eraser Stamped Batman Shirt

Not to long ago I spied some t-shirts at the dollar store.  They had all kinds of sizes and colors so I grabbed a few knowing that decorating them would make a fun and inexpensive activity to do with my kids.  We used some of the shirts to make these festive patriotic shirts for the Fourth of July.  With the extras each of my children got to decide how they wanted to decorate their own shirt.

My super hero loving three year old decided that he wanted a batman shirt so batman it was!

He was super excited to wear his new shirt despite the long sleeves and the hot humid weather.

He was sure to wear what he calls his mean batman face as I snapped a few picture.  I just love this spunky and silly little boy!

Now that he has his mask, cape, and new shirt he's ready to go fight crime.  I found the batman mask on Amazon a few years ago for only $5 and the cape was another dollar store find.

I love how simple, fun, and fast these eraser stamped shirts are to make.

First things first--I washed the shirt.  This is always a good idea so it can preshrink.  It also washes away any chemicals on the fabric from manufacturing which may prevent the paint from being permanent.

To start out I traced and cut out the batman logo from freezer paper.  I then placed the shinny side of the logo onto the fabric and ironed it on using a medium setting.  Be sure to focus on the edges and points of the logo.  Iron for about 30 seconds to a minute.  The first time I used freezer paper for a project I applied a lot of heat and and lot of pressure and I couldn't get the freezer paper to come off of my fabric when I was done. I ruined my project.  Less is more here, but at the same time you want to make sure the paper is completely ironed on so no paint seeps under.

I then mixed in some textile medium to my black paint and used a new pencil eraser to stamp.  Be sure to place cardboard, wax paper, or freezer paper inside your shirt before you start stamping so the paint doesn't soak through to the back.  You really can't go wrong with the design.  I concentrated the dots more around the logo and then spaced them out as I got further away from it.

Once the paint drys you can peel away the freezer paper and your shirt is done!

Want more eraser stamped t-shirt ideas?  See the patriotic shirts we made here.